Back in October 2012 I learned that I may have Aspergers Syndrome. Various tests I do online put me up at the threshold or over the edge (depending on the test) and into the ‘you definitely have it’ area. Interestingly, when I talked about it with some of my friends, most of them have said there’s no way I have it, because they don’t see me doing the things that they would expect someone with Aspergers to be doing.
But they don’t know the inner world I live in. They don’t know what goes on inside my mind, the initial mental responses I have to situation I find myself in , but which I’ve learned to disguise with conversations and behaviour that is more ‘socially acceptable’.
Some people have told me over the years to act from the heart, but in my heart is a lot of socially irresponsible and unacceptable mannerisms and emotions (self judgements, I know, but which are based on growing up with negative experiences resulting from them). It’s been much safer for me to act from my head, because my heart… well, I no longer even know what acting from my heart looks or feels like. I sit and think about it, while knowing that’s part of the problem, but I can’t act on my heart when I can’t imagine it first.
Everything I do is thought about, planned and rehearsed in my mind. And there’s a lot of fear about rejection and mistakes and the expression of unwanted emotions that holds me back from doing many of the things that occur in my mind. Most of the time I don’t know what’s safe or what’s not. And sometimes I say or do things which end up turning out to be the wrong thing, but I’m stubborn and I try to own it and make it part of me, when all I want to do is pretend I didn’t say or do it at all.
I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort over the past decade in trying to understand myself more. I’ve discovered passive aggressive personality tendencies – the darker areas of my psyche – which I’ve explored and worked on overcoming. I discovered introversion and decided to embrace it as a strength instead of treat it as a weakness. And now I’m looking at what having Aspergers means to me.
Writing this, right now, has taken almost a year. It’s not something I’ve consciously thought about for most of that time, but it’s been there, in my mind. Writing this is a first step for me, to acknowledge something else about myself that I’ve avoided acknowledging in my life – that I didn’t even know about – and to now start delving into what it actually means for me, and how I can turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.
As usual, I don’t know where this will take me, but I recognise this is just another part of my own internal journey with my life, something else for me to understand about myself as I move forward.
Oh, and rest assured, I’ll be seeking professional advice. 🙂 I know that trusting online tests as a conclusive measure is very silly, so please don’t start telling me I’m being silly. At best they can act as a guide, and that’s exactly what I’ll be using them as. I’ll probably use this forum (shared also with my personal blog) to provide updates as I learn more.
Also, in closing, I think part of the reason I’m also sharing this here, sharing publicly, is to say hi to other Aspie’s out there, and maybe to find out more about life from their perspective, and see how they have learned to deal with things and become more successful in their chosen ventures.
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